Six of eight trekkers missing in Himachal rescued

Shimla: Six of the eight trekkers who went missing in the Manali area of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh were rescued on Sunday evening while two others were spotted to be safe, officials said. Seven students of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology in Punjab's Sangrur along with their trekking instructor lost their way due to inclement weather while trekking to the Chanderkhani peak. "The six have been airlifted by a chopper. They were spotted during an aerial recce in the morning itself but the chopper had to return due to bad weather," area Subdivisional Magistrate Jyoti Rana told IANS. Rana said the rescued students were brought to Rungsu near Naggar ahead of Manali and given first aid, after which they were taken to Kullu. "They are all fine," she added. She said two students -- Hitender Sharma and Anil Kumar -- were spotted near a cave-like structure where all eight had earlier taken shelter. Both were safe, she said. "We could not airlift them today (Sunday) as the weather turned bad again. But we have dropped food packets for them and will airlift them in the first aerial sortie in the area," the official said. Three teams of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were pressed for search and rescue after teams from a local mountaineering institute and the police failed to find them due to inclement weather.  A helicopter was pressed into service on Saturday, but it too failed to make much headway due to the bad weather.